The Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office recently took steps to protect its officers from contracting pathogens from needles.
Sheriff Jerry Larpenter announced that his officers’ patrol units are being hard-wired with a new device that will “zap,” or sterilize needles, reducing the risk of contracting blood-borne pathogens.
“I’ve had some of our deputies in the past be stuck by needles,” Sheriff Larpenter told deputies last week during a meeting at the TPSO Motor Pool, where demonstrations and a practice session were held. “Even if one person gets stuck, this will pay for itself with that medical bill. We don’t want anyone being infected by a dirty needle. We don’t want anybody to get stuck with needles. We want to protect you.”
A total of 20 “SANDD” – Sharps And Needles Destruction Device – units were purchased for $3,599.80 from RedHawk Medical Products. A bid was not required for this purchase because RedHawk is a single source supplier.
The device is grey and features a port which the needle is placed into. The user holds down a yellow button until a light turns on. This light indicates that the needle has been “incinerated” by an electrical arc. The substance within the needle remains unaffected, preserving it for potential use as evidence.
The devices have been designed to accept needles commonly encountered by deputies in the field. The process of installing the units has already begun.
“The Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office is among the first law enforcement agencies to utilize this cutting-edge technology,” said RedHawk Chairman and CEO Darcy Klug. “We are thrilled to offer this increased margin of safety and security to our law enforcement agencies.”